Zak: “Okay. Pants are clean. I’d say that qualifies as “winning,” heh…”
You glance over at Shreya to see if your weak attempt at humor is helping.
She’s gripping the sides of her stool and trembling visibly. The calm, severe, determined woman who sat in the dark and stared at a monster is gone.
Shreya: “It’s really real, isn’t it? i mean, it isn’t a trick, or some set-up, or-or-or…HIM. He’s REAL. And all those shadows and oh my god, Zak. Oh GOD–“
Zak: “Whoa, hey, look I’m about to wet myself here too, so one of needs to hold it together. Whatever the fuck is going on, it’s like you said in the hidden room: we’ve got each other. I’m not going anywhere.”
Shreya closes her eyes and takes several long, deep breaths. She takes your hand in hers. It’s still shaking, but then you notice that yours is too. You squeeze her hand, she squeezes back, and you steady each other.
Shreya: “Thank you…I just…I stopped believing in ghosts and monsters and anything spiritual years ago and now this place…and these things…I think it might really be Hell.”
Zak: “I never really gave spiritual stuff much though one way or another. Wherever or whatever this place is, Mr. Raw said we can still get out. just gotta go talk to the Mayor. And if this IS Hell, and he’s some kind of demon, you really stood up to him.”
Shreya: “Thanks. You too.”
Shreya smiles at you and you smile back. You release your grip and take a breath. The chair Mr. Raw was sitting in is still rocking slightly, but eventually comes to a stop. You decide it’s time to jog each others memory, in the hopes of recalling whatever it is you’ve forgotten.
Zak: “So, uh…how’s the missing memory stuff working out for you?”
Shreya: “Not great, but I think it’s obvious that remembering what each of us forgot is important to getting out of here. Mr. Raw hinted it’s the reason why we’re here, so maybe if we get our memories back, we can leave. I’ve been getting flashes of…stuff. It might help if we talk about it, try to jog our memories.”
Zak: “Oh, uh, I don’t know if I uh….I mean, I’m not sure I want to…”
Shreya: “Zak. Whatever we both forgot, I know it’s bad. I don’t think either one of us is a saint. Let’s just agree that we’re doing this to help each other, okay?”
Zak: “*sigh* A-all right. You’re right. It was something about my ex-girlfriend. I think that’s who it was. She was…she looked sorta like you: dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes, sorta petite, smart. I think Mr. Raw hinted at that on the answering machine when we first came into the building and he said you were “my type.”
I’m pretty sure she…god…I think she killed herself, and I think I saw it. I don’t know why. But I think it was my fault, somehow.”
You shudder and take a deep breath, calming yourself for a moment before looking back at Shreya.
Shreya: “Down in the power room, I told you I think it was about my friend. I’m certain it was. My best friend. I didn’t know the gender before but now I’m pretty sure it was a guy. I told you I woke up here in my car. He nicknamed it “die Pflaume,” which is German for “the Plum,” because it was this ugly purple-gray color.
I was…I have a memory of the windshield all cracked, and this heart pendant swinging around a rearview mirror, and blood. I also know I quit drinking a while ago, but not exactly why. I think I was drunk, and I got my friend killed.”